Every year the latest housewares trends debut at the International Housewares Show in Chicago. All the major housewares companies bring their newest designs to the show. For 2008, hot trends in housewares were all about going green, eliminating clutter and adding high-end design.

Lifestyle consultant and housewares expert Lisa Weiss works for the International Housewares Association, the group that hosts the show. She says, “Consumers I think are much more socially aware of the environment and they’re making a conscious decision where they can to purchase products that are better for the environment that may conserve energy and that might just be better in the long run for their homes.”

Many housewares companies switched to greener packaging for their housewares. Other housewares companies are using more sustainable materials to manufacture their housewares, such as bamboo and recycled plastics.

In order to de-clutter your home, you may think you’re going to have to compromise on how many housewares you buy. Thanks to the new trend in housewares, that isn’t true. Many companies are following the housewares trend and making devices that are multi-function or multi-purpose. For example, Hamilton Beach makes a toaster oven that has a traditional toaster built in the top of it.

“If you can have one appliance that does multiple things it would be so much easier than having several different products doing just those individual items,” Weiss says.

Another housewares trend you’ll see in stores involves the marriage of design with convenience. Dirt Devil’s new Kone handheld vacuums are a good example of this new housewares trend. Their high-end design, created by well-known designers to be beautiful, will make you want to display these housewares prominently, and they’ll be ready for use at a moment’s notice.

“What I think consumers are really interested in is that these products are designed to be beautiful,” says Weiss, “so I think consumers are very interested in what they’re putting in their home and they’re making a statement with some of these products being so beautifully designed.” For more stories on home trends, real estate and personal finance, visit ThinkGlink.com. Read our stories on home design and garden design. Also watch these design videos featuring designer Marianne Cusato:

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